Sunday, 19 April 2009

Barça's beauty lies in their bite

author: Amy Lawrence
source: The Guardian

date: 9 April 2009

After Barcelona's destruction of Bayern Munich it is legitimate to ask if this is the most attractive side of the modern age.

Uli Hoeness, sat in the away dugout next to Jurgen Klinsmann with an expression that summed up his team's ritual humiliation pretty well. His red face somehow managed to be both round and very, very long all at the same time. "We were rabbits caught in front of a snake," he lamented. Hoeness, like everybody else in Camp Nou, knew that the rabbits only lost 4-0 because the snake decided it may as well save some venom for its next victim.

It is not unreasonable to suggest this Barcelona team is extraordinary enough to make grown men cry for joy. The emotions sweeping the vast majority of observers were all about elation, over-excitement and possibility. In the morning's papers, El Mundo Deportivo captured the mood by stating that football "owes" Barça its third European title.

It is hard to make a case for a more deserving winner of this Champions League edition. In terms of attacking spirit, they wipe the floor with everyone else. Barcelona's 85 La Liga goals looks even more astonishing with a little perspective.

Consider the ratios elsewhere:

Barcelona: 85 goals from 29 games (2.93)
Internazionale: 55 goals from 30 games (1.83)
Man United: 52 goals from 30 games (1.73)
Lyon: 41 goals from 30 games (1.37)
Wolfsburg: 58 goals from 26 games (2.23)
Porto: 44 goals from 23 games (1.91)

To appreciate Barcelona in terms of statistics is to miss the point. Better stop counting, sit back and feast your eyes. They play so beautifully, the Camp Nou socios are beginning to debate whether this is the most attractive side of the modern age.

Barcelona have evolved from the 2006 Champions League vintage, most visibly in midfield, where the line-up of Deco, Edmilson and the crunching aberration that was Mark van Bommel could not weave the kind of passing patterns created by Xavi and Andres Iniesta, with Yaya Toure in control just behind.

Further forward, Ronaldinho at his pomp arguably gave Barça more fantasy, and a greater sense of the spectacular and unexpected, and the intelligence of Henrik Larsson was a pleasure to watch. But there is more cut and thrust about today's front three, whose collective speed of thought and movement compliment each other brilliantly and to devastating effect. Samuel Eto'o must certainly feel immense relief he did not follow Ronaldinho and Deco out the door last summer, as was on the cards.

It is worth pointing out that Pep Guardiola's goal addicts have a vastly superior Champions League record to the class of 2006. Frank Rijkaard's team had notched up 19 by this stage, halfway through the quarter-finals. Messi and company are already on 28.

The little Argentinian spoke for all of them when he tried to play down the plaudits until there are medals to back them up. "I think from one to 11, each of our players put in an excellent performance against Bayern. But to be considered the best team in Europe, is about winning the Champions League and regaining the Spanish title."

The only nag for Barcelona is the fact they might feel they are in the 'wrong' side of the draw. They would obviously feel confident in a pure footballing contest, as they would expect from a semi-final against any of the contestants from the other branch to the final - Manchester United, Porto, Villarreal or Arsenal - but the power play of Chelsea, or Liverpool if they were to achieve a miraculous turnaround, is not their favourite flavour of ice cream.

Chelsea, incidentally, might think they have done the hard part with that thrilling win at Anfield but they ain't seen nothing yet. The prettiest snake on earth, with razor sharp fangs, lies in wait.

read the full and original article here

Read more:
Messi-Eto'o-Henry: Barcelona's Prolific Trident
Barcelona Is Winning With Style
Barcelona the team to avoid in Champions League


Marc4barca said...

good news adriano is out of the barca clash cause of his red card against valencia. chelsea defense isn't as great as it once was cause guus is attacking.. we have proven lately that we can defend like england and with the way cech is playing barca should try some shots from distance.. i don't see ivanovic dealing with henry and ashley cole venturing forwad will be limited as for the so called in from malouda alves will deal with him and when he doesn't our DM will cover.. only threat is lampard and drogba. pique and puyol should be careful cause drogba is a diver and could get someone sent off or even get a penalty but still like him in some ways. i predict 3-1 to barca might even score a corner lol

sashi said...

Ashley Cole wont be playin as he is on suspension... so its gonna be Belletti to handle Messi... and ya... Drog n Lamps are the biggest threat... Terry is strong wit headers... Eto must muster all his strength against Terry... mouth-watering encounter on the cards...

Knives Out said...

Does anyone know how many Sevilla players (if at all) except for Adriano will miss the match against us on Wednesday?

Nite said...

Adriano + Palop

Knives Out said...

Are you sure about Palop? No Palop = very, VERY good news for us. Easier to get past their sticks as Palop was the only real Zamora contender to VV.. thank god he'll be sitting out then!

hieifcb said...

no Palop?
Barca have to make good use of it and score more!

Knives Out said...

Yep no Palop!
Read it here:

Marc4barca said...

belleti to mark messi that should make things better but i think essien would play their. we can't concede too much corners or free kicks near the area. watched the chelsea arsenal match and i must say both of them played poorly but manu got kicked out and that made this weekend a memorable one.

jazzy said...

if essien is on the left, "MAYBE" he can contain messi. but that leaves a big whole in the center for xavi, iniesta to exploit, and thats good. essien is great, but he cant be in two positions at once :p

jazzy said...

i think essien will be on DM, cuz he will cover more ground and chelsea need that against us.

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